Trema tomentosa (ULMACEAE) Poison Peach

Plants to Plant

Woody shrub or small tree to 5 m, evergreen, young branches pubescent, useful in revegetation. Produces canopy quickly which can be lifted by trimming the lower branches. Leaves ovate to lanceolate, to 8 cm long, strongly 3-veined from base, main veins usually hairy below; petiole 5-10 mm long. Resembles Chinese Elm, also in the Ulmaceae Elms, but does not have such coarsely crenate edges. Trema is finely crenate. Toxic to stock if they eat large quanities.

Photo: Robert Whyte


Trema from Greek trema meaning perforation, aperture, or orifice, in reference to the pitted seed coat; tomentosa from Latin tomentose covered with short and curled or curved matted hairs in reference to the leaf surface.
Photo: Robert Whyte


Very small greenish flowers and small black fruit. Leaves are reported to be toxic to cattle. Many local birds eat the fruit. Host plant for the Speckled Line-blue butterfly so the leaves are eaten by its caterpillar.

Photo: Robert Whyte